News from the plant

Honeywell Begins Implementing Contigency Program. Brand New College Graduates Promised Long Career with Honeywell, Actually Brought to Metropolis as Contingency Workforce.

Even after an unprecedented and history making lock-out in 2010-2011, Honeywell is still not satisfied.  As if it wasn't enough to affect the lives of our local workforce, Honeywell now has plans to use recent Engineering School graduates as their contingency workforce this Summer.  USW 7-669's current collective bargaining agreement expires August 1st.  

The recent college graduates were offered a job with a program that Honeywell calls "Early Career Engineer Rotational Program" or ECERP for short.  You can read Plant Manager Jim Pritchett briefly describe the program in a letter on Honeywell's website.  This seems like a harmless program that might indicate Honeywell's desire to start acting like a responsible corporate citizen.  There's only one problem.  Internal company documents obtained by the Union indicate that these Engineers were brought here as the contingency workforce (or SCABS) for an impending labor dispute.

Local 7-669 featured in USW@Work magazine

Click this story title for the link to the article.

Shame on you, Phillip Sommer!

The day that our Union returned to work after 13 months on the picket line was a proud one for us.  It took 13 months, but we were able to protect the things that were important to our workforce.  It is because of these experiences that we are so disappointed in Phillip Sommer.  Phillip retired from Honeywell as a member of our Union prior to the lockout in 2010.  He enjoys a good pension and the very retiree healthcare that we stood on a picket line to protect.  He also owns InLaw Speed Shop, a local business.  

Apparently, that's not enough for Phillip.  Now he's back in the plant working as a contractor.  He's actually making $65.00 an hour to train contractors to replace our Union Mechanics in the machine shop.

Shame on you Phillip.  We were your friends and you were a brother to us!

USW Toy Drive A Huge Success

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When the talks began to organize a toy drive for the victims of the November 17th tornado that ripped through Brookport, IL we had no idea of the amount of outreach we would receive.  The toy drive was held on December 3rd at the USW 7-669 union hall, and was helped with promotion by local news stations KFVS 12 of Cape Girardeau, MO and WPSD Local 6 of Paducah, KY on what is being called "Giving Tuesday."

Honeywell recalls remainder of laid off Union members

In an announcement today, new Honeywell Plant Manager Jim Pritchett announced that the remainder of laid off USW members would be recalled within the next few weeks.  In his announcement, Pritchett said that this was being done in order to prepare to meet the 2014 production goals of the facility.  Some of these workers have been laid off since May, 2012.

The Union is pleased with this decision and hopes that this is a first step in a positive direction for the workers and the facility.  

USW To Hold Toy Drive For Brookport Tornado Victims

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In the wake of the devastating tornadoes that ripped through Illinois Sunday, November 17th that claimed 6 lives, 3 Massac County residents from in and around the town of Brookport, United Steelworkers Local 7-669 will be hosting a toy drive to benefit families hit by the storm.
“We understand that everyone’s immediate needs seem to be met, so we wanted to do something to help ease a little pressure this holiday season off of those attempting to recover and put their lives back together,” said Franklin Walter, the union’s Community Outreach Chairman.  “Hopefully we can help these families have one less thing to worry about.”
New unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the United Steelworkers 7-669 union hall, located at 3831 U.S. Hwy 45, Metropolis, IL on Tuesday, December 3rd between 4 and 8pm. More...


Left to Right: Franklin Walter, Eric McClellan, Stephen Lech, Steve Glidden, John Paul Smith
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Members of USW 7-669's Executive Board attended the Metropolis Rebuilding Together Dinner at Harrah's Casino November 24, 2013. Rebuilding Together provides critical repairs and renovations for low-income homeowners across the United States.  The dinner is the primary fundraiser for the program in Metropolis.  The Rebuilding Together work day will be held in April where the Local will have a team.

Honeywell blocks Union’s participation in Nuclear Regulatory Inspection

Metropolis, IL-- Defying federal law providing such rights, Honeywell today blocked participation by a Union Representative in an active NRC inspection at the company’s Metropolis, Illinois plant.

The company refused to allow the Local Union President, chosen by the union to accompany the NRC inspection team.  Federal law gives the union the absolute right to designate a “walk-around” representative.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission proceeded with the inspection with an alternate employee representative, citing that they do not have the authority to enforce the federal code that provides this right to the workers.  The NRC refused to take action on the issue, questioning whether the Union President was actually a representative of the workers. 

This violation of the law is identical to the February 2011 incident when Honeywell refused to allow a walk-around representative to accompany OSHA inspectors in the facility.  The result was an order by a Federal Judge confirming the Union’s rights.  Honeywell defied the same order and would not comply until a federal warrant was subsequently issued.  With the assistance of the walk-around representative, 17 violations were uncovered and Honeywell received penalties in the amount of $119,000.00 

“The presence of our Union’s top elected official is vital to the integrity of the inspection process.” Said Stephen Lech, USW 7-669 Local Union President.   “NRC Inspections are announced ahead of time and focus on specific areas.  Management at this facility has proven time and time again that they cannot be trusted to bring up any other issues that might get them cited.  That’s why Congress wrote union walk-around rights into the law.  Why isn’t the NRC taking the concerns of our workers seriously?  It’s an uneasy feeling knowing that Federal Agency with as much responsibility as they are trusted with do not feel they have an obligation to enforce federal law.”

The Union will seek legal action against Honeywell and a complaint against the NRC was filed with the Office of the Inspector General.

The Honeywell plant converts uranium to a form used to make nuclear fuels.  In 2010 the company locked out the 228 local union members for 400 days in an effort to impose drastic cuts in benefits and limit union rights, including union participation in the safety program.

USW 7-669 Summer Picnic

bounce house USW 7-669 SUMMER PICNIC 

Don't miss out on the biggest event of the year!

September 14th at 1:00

USW Union Hall in Metropolis

Corn Hole Tournament, Bounce house, Live Band, Free prize drawings (active and retirees), 50/50 drawing

All members, retirees, and their families are invited to attend.  There will be plenty of food, games, music, and PRIZES! Please feel free to bring a side dish.

Union wins latest arbitration on subcontracting!!

This week, our local union received a decision on an arbitration on subcontracting.  Back in January 2012, Honeywell laid off two union members and kept SHAW contractors in the plant performing union work.  The union contract prohibits this very act, but in a show of arrogance that has become commonplace with management, Honeywell ignored the contract.  The arbitrator ruled in favor of our union and ruled that the workers were to be made whole, including all back pay.  

There are numerous upcoming arbitrations on the same issue.  We are confident that the company will be held responsible for their actions in the future arbitrations and we look forward to seeing our contract finally enforced.  

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